I subscribe to some pretty weird news feeds. I am fascinated, amazed and repulsed by we humans. I am in the human business (on God's behalf.)
Well, I came across a church that set up a protest outside a strip club; using bull horns and photographs of patron's license plates posted on the church web page to make their point. The point being – this is wrong and we will go through any means to harass you into change (my interpretation.) In a move of creativity, the strippers then came and protested outside the church on Sundays. See story
Okay, I do not encourage stripping as a living nor do I take First Amendment rights lightly. But I think something bigger is going on here. Does Jesus call us to care more about sin or the sinner? Are we in the policing business or enforcement business or the attraction or salvation business? I think the latter. What do you think?
Jesus knew sin when he saw it but his primary mission was to listen and let people make the move towards God themselves. If he attacked sin, it was with the people INSIDE the faith community (hypocrites was his word.)
Listening does a couple of things. It allows us to see the other person as God does – as an imperfect person, much like we are - a mixture of good and evil. Listening also moves the person from a "project for God" to a "subject of God's love" in that the person has the possibility (which harassing would not accomplish) of being loved and the hope of a greater life. Lastly, listening allows us to see how broken this world is. Why is stripping (or any other thing) a move any woman would joyfully take on? What is this person's back story? What makes the craving of men so fierce as to make stripping a way of life? Where is there economic justice? When a CEO can make hundreds of millions and some cannot make enough for basic needs?
I think we Christians are to attract believers because we have a love so irresistible that people flock to us rather than be coerced by us. God will produce the change. Love comes first. Then change. It is not that we do not believe in sin or fight it. It is that we are called as "ambassadors" for Christ, to be the "aroma" (not stink) of God.
Who have we judged today without so much as one moment of listening without fixing?